OKGazette.com - Indie http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/articles.sec-51-1-indie.html <![CDATA[Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss - ]]> Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.]]> <![CDATA[Oklahoma Cloud Factory — Ancestral Ghosts - ]]>

There’s a cinematic quality to Oklahoma Cloud Factory’s debut album, Ancestral Ghosts, one that indie-bent folk-rock outfits always seem to be grasping at. But thanks to a fun set of sonic idiosyncrasies, OCF lands on a different terrain than that of Band of Horses or Lord Huron.

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<![CDATA[Graham Colton — Lonely Ones - ]]> For some, Graham Colton’s latest album might be a jarring experience, marking a significant creative shift from polite folk-pop to the just-left-of-mainstream alternative rock grounds that have proven so fruitful in recent years for Foster the People, Young the Giant and Grouplove.]]> <![CDATA[Various Artists — A Blackwatch Christmas Vol. III (Holly-Tonk & Jingle Beats) - ]]>
Three volumes in and A Blackwatch Christmas yet again nabs a spot on the nice list, showcasing a smattering of Oklahoma artists with charming new holiday standards. This year shakes up the status quo with two themed halves — serving up dusty, countrified Christmas ditties on the Holly-Tonk side and soulful hip-hop carols with Jingle Beats, both with joyful returns.
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<![CDATA[Colourmusic — A Very Special Colourmusic Christmas: Vol. 1 - ]]>

Oklahoma is quickly becoming the indie Christmas music capital of the world, it seems, with yearly compilation albums featuring everyone from Stardeath and White Dwarfs to Graham Colton. So it makes sense that Colourmusic — freak-poppers hailing from Stillwater — would craft a full album of original, offbeat holiday tunes themselves.

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<![CDATA[The Flaming Lips — Peace Sword - ]]> The Flaming Lips’ longevity has allowed them to cover a lot of sonic terrain over the years. Yet they’ve arguably become more adventurous with age, jeopardizing a good portion of their fan base in favor of fascinatingly bleak experiments in sound, beginning with Embryonic in 2009 and, more recently, The Terror.]]> <![CDATA[Grooms — Infinity Caller - ]]> Grooms may be based out of Brooklyn, but their roots are firmly entrenched in Norman. Frontman Travis Johnson — an OU graduate — is the project’s linchpin, one that underwent a series of lineup shuffles and a name change (from The Muggabears) before relocating.]]> <![CDATA[Tallows — Memory Marrow - ]]> Expectations can be a real pain in the ass. With today’s digital release model, hype trains traverse the Internet at breakneck speeds, often before a proper album is released. One or two great songs can set the bar so extraordinarily high that it will never be attained, much less cleared.]]> <![CDATA[Leaf Hands — Your Imagination - ]]> While listening to the opening track of Leaf Hands’ Your Imagination, it’s almost impossible to not stare at the cover art: a bleak, early-winter rural landscape wherein distant figures huddle together and feel a lo-fi sense of melancholy.]]> <![CDATA[Young Lyons — Crash Course EP - ]]> The first time I heard Weezer was a magical moment. It was early-September 1994 and I was in the parking lot of a Catholic church making out with a girl I had desperately been trying to hook up with for weeks.]]> <![CDATA[Bowlsey — Sleepy Weather - ]]> Bowlsey is a fearless bunch. Not fearless in that robotic, armor-clad superhero kind of way, but fearless because its members have nothing to lose, so why not rap over that muffled synth-pop track? Hell, you could even plant it between a couple soulful acoustic ballads. Sure, that’ll work.]]> <![CDATA[Western Residents — Sunlit Nights - ]]> When describing music, the word "maturity" implies that some weathering has been endured by a band — through trial and error, life events or what have you — before attaining this idea of a true identity, if it ever does. ]]> <![CDATA[Smith Westerns — Soft Will - ]]> Most bands don’t make their “mature” album until they’re, you know, mature. Chicago trio Smith Westerns is like the indie-rock equivalent of Robin Williams in Jack: just a few years removed from high school, yet appearing to age more rapidly than the majority of their contemporaries.]]> <![CDATA[IndianGiver — Plafond EP - ]]> If you were to peruse the “About” section of IndianGiver’s Facebook page, you’ll notice how the instruments attributed to each of the Oklahoma City band’s five members are described with downright flippancy: Dylan Jordan plays “sticks & animal skins,” while Jazzton Rodriguez earns his keep with “shanties & loud noises,” and so on.]]> <![CDATA[Various artists — Never Give Up: Celebrating 10 Years of The Postal Service - ]]> Few indie bands have had the impact on current music that The Postal Service has. Even fewer have done so with only one album.]]> <![CDATA[Eureeka — Polysynthetic Fields - ]]> It’s always refreshing to hear music that embraces its own eccentricity, yet presents it in an accessible and meek fashion. Eureeka — the Norman-based duo of Jordan Vargas and Devin Wahl — has tapped into this rarified air on its self-released EP, Polysynthetic Fields.]]> <![CDATA[Horse Thief — Grow Deep, Grow Wild - ]]> Psychedelic folk isn’t new, but it certainly is increasing in popularity. The surge has brought such weird-minded acts as Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective to the forefront, but the downside to any emerging movement is that it inevitably will seduce those who seek to piggyback on its success.]]> <![CDATA[Various artists — A Blackwatch Christmas Vol. II - ]]> Fowler Volkswagen general manager Jonathan Fowler wants Oklahoma to become the indie Christmas-music capital of the world. With three straight stellar Christmas albums Fowler VW has supported (all but the first with Norman’s Blackwatch Studios), that wish feels more like reality. ]]> <![CDATA[Feathered Rabbit — Feathered Rabbit - ]]> Feathered Rabbit is kind of a throwback band. Unlike most others in the digital age, its increased exposure has come by way of a bedazzling live presence and the ensuing word-of-mouth.]]> <![CDATA[Animal Collective — Centipede HZ - ]]> There really was no way for Animal Collective to match Merriweather Post Pavilion, widely considered the best album of 2009. It’s damn near impossible to bottle lightning twice, especially with the caustic and combustible ingredients the psych-rock band uses to build its ambitious opuses, in which indie electronics meet space rock.]]>